I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Awesome Adaptations (31) - Bonanza "The Far Far Better Thing"

Posted by Charlene // Tags: ,

Awesome Adaptations is a weekly bookish meme, hosted at Alisa Selene’s books blog, Picturemereading.  Anyone can play along! Each week there is a new category of adaptation to blog about. Any format (television series, film, web series, etc.) is acceptable as long as it is based in some form on a book. If you’re playing along on your own blog, just mention Picturemereading in your post and include the banner above. Let them know which film you’d pick and why it is an awesome adaptation worth watching. Oh, and don’t forget to share the link to your own post in the comments for that week’s challenge so that everyone can read your thoughts!

An Awesome Dickensian Adaptation
Title: Bonanza "The Far Far Better Thing"
Adapted from: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Yay, another opportunity to talk about my favorite TV show growing up, Bonanza.  It was a 60's Western that centered around the Cartwright family and sometimes seemed more like a soap opera then a Western.  In this episode from Season 6, Little Joe and his friend, Tuck compete for Lucy's attentions.  She's bookish, romantic, and naive, and manages to sneak away to see a tragic spot called Indian's Grief, even though Indian renegades have been seen in the area. When the Indians catch up and kidnap her, Tuck and Joe come to her rescue.  The leader of the Indian renegades was once Joe's friend so he lets him and Lucy go but Joe volunteers to take Tuck's place.  In a little sport where he has to run before the Indians catch up and try to kill him.  Sydney Carton anyone?

Although Little Joe scoffs at Sydney Carton's sacrifice in an earlier scene of the episode, he makes the same decision out of duty to his friend in the show.  The story's light inspiration by A Tale of Two Cities, gives Little Joe a chance to become a hero and his climactic run and fight with the leader is definitely the best part of the episode.  So exciting!  Of course I sympathize with poor romantic Lucy because she is book smart and really loves the stories she reads.  But it is an interesting insight into how books don't always reflect reality.  And in the end of the episode, the romance doesn't quite work out.  I guess Little Joe wouldn't want such a silly girl anyways.  I loved it when Bonanza drew inspiration from a book or story, and I thought this episode did a great job re-imagining Dicken's classic novel.

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  1. I remember this episode..and I am with you on his not wanting to be with such a silly girl! LOL

    1. LOL, there weren't alot of girls in the series that were worthy of the Cartwrights. :D